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Report No. 87

II. Demonstrative Evidence

3.9. Real or demonstrative evidence.-

Such evidence falls in the category of real or demonstrative evidence. Real or demonstrative1 evidence is the "things" that are introduced as exhibits and explained by testimony. In such circumstances oral testimony is secondary to the exhibit or object. Demonstrative evidence is often, the most important evidence in a criminal trial. The human body, pictures, maps, charts, drawings, models, and samples of handwriting, are all examples of demonstrative evidence, which must also meet the tests of admissibility and relevancy. Important examples of demonstrative evidence might be-fingerprints of an accused on the stolen property or on doorways, or on furniture at the scene of the crime. Measurements have also a part to play. One knowledgeable writer2 has mentioned the following measures of identification in detail:

(a) Fingerprints, foot-prints and footwear prints;

(b) Ear;

(c) Bones and teeth;

(d) Skull;

(e) Fluids and hair (External);

(f) Fluids (Internal);

(g) Fibres;

(h) Handwriting;

(i) Voiceprint (spectrograph).

1. For the phrase "Demonstrative", see D.J. George Constitutional Limitations on Evidence in Criminal Cases, (1969), pp. 105-205.

2. H.L. Bami Personal Identification-Recent Trends and Techniques, (July 1970), Indian Police Journal, pp. 16-22.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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